Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Our Lady of the Snow Shrine Christmas display

We visited Our Lady of the Snows National Shrine over the Christmas break.  They had a buffet dinner that wasn't too expensive and of course Christmas displays and lights!  My family is not Catholic so I was unfamiliar with Our Lady of the Snow story.
We found another St Louis Christmas cake which brings us up top about 90 cakes found and we are running out of time to gather all 250, but we have had fun looking and stumbling upon them when we can:)

The history of Our Lady of the Snows can be traced back to  Rome 352 AD and is one of the oldest  devotion to Mary in the Catholic Church.  It was said that the Blessed Mary had indicated in a dream to a wealthy couple that she wanted a church built in her honor and the site of her church would be revealed to them as it would be covered in snow.  One day in August while the rest of Rome was sweltering there was snow on Esquiline Hill.  A church was built and remains to this day in her honor.  
The facility we visited was in Illinois and every year they hold a light display and recount the birth of Jesus.
Inside they had wreath displays from area business which we enjoyed seeing

This one was the family favorite

Of course you had to have a Frozen wreath this year

They had a room decorate to themed Christmas trees!

This one was of pictures of WWII and even had black ribbon with  different dates from that period on it 

Ronald MacDonald house

A solider's tree

Pictures of deceased soldiers for many wars

At the end of the hall was this portrait and on closer inspection we noticed it was made up entirely of legos!

Pretty impressive we thought

Driving the grounds to see the lights and read about the birth of Christ

A nativity display was found at the end

We also attended a later display on the grounds.

They also had Camel rides, a petting zoo and a young children's room for families.  Due to the cold we skipped the outside activities this night.  We enjoyed it so much we will add it to next years list of places to visit during this time of the year!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas traditions

I love the Christmas season and am that annoying person who turns on the Christmas music radio station the day after Thanksgiving and listens to it until Jan 1st, at which time I turn it off until next year!

Some of our yearly traditions as a family are:

 Visiting the light displays in our area...these were found at the city zoo

I loved this outside light ball hanging from the trees

There are several wonderful Christmas lights displays in are city held at the zoo, botanical gardens, parks and even the camp groups!  We try to see 2 or 3 every year:)

While we miss attending the pantomimes in the UK we still enjoy attending Christmas show, this  year we attended the shows  "Its a Wonderful Life" at a dinner theater with my parents in Pa while we were visiting over the Thanksgiving break

With our local homeschool groups we attended the Nutcracker ballet and A Christmas Carol shows locally
My mother started sending me the White House Christmas ornaments every year shortly after I got married.  I look forward to getting my new ornament every year!

Every year the kids pick out a new Christmas ornament to hand on the tree...this year MarioFan picked out a lighthouse while we were on holiday in Door County Wisconsin this fall

Firedrake found a dog ornament that she thought looked like our new puppy Luna and chose this for her ornament.  I always have the kids name and year written on the ornaments.

Some other traditions include attending Christmas Eve Church services and attending a live nativity program locally if we can find one.  We also watch christmas movies the whole month leading up to Christmas, this year we introduced the kids to the movie ELF!  But our personal favorites are watching the movies  "The Nativity" and "Polar Express" the week of Christmas.

I will be taking the next two weeks off to spend time with my family over the holidays, so I won't be posting anything until the the New Year!  My family and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope the year 2015 brings you great joy and happiness!


Friday, 19 December 2014

Trip to art museum

The second day we spent in Indianapolis we toured the art gallery as we discovered they were holding a Georgia O'Keefe exhibit and she is one of my favorite artists.  I wasn't able to take pictures in many areas.   There were plenty of hands on things for the children to do at the art gallery

Creating art on iPads

Taking pictures of themselves and then mixing up the photos and adding it to a picture wall

We toured the modern art exhibit and watched a video on the creative process of artists

watched how art begins and shapes
The final art piece from the video, which was interesting...we couldn't quite decide where this art would go except in a museum!

Kids like this one as it reminded them of crystals formations

This was a floor made of teeny tiny people holding up the plexi glass MarioFan liked to get up close to look of the people

Firedrake took the dare and walked on it to see if it would hold her up...we were allowed to do this!

The next room was audio art, tons of microphones throughout the room all saying various messages, as you walked underneath the microphones, it was interesting

Kids were excited to find their first Alex Caldwell art piece since we learned about him last year!

Next we watched a video on performance art...here the artist climbs up the stairs and throws a pitcher of pink paint into a box and then climbs down...kids weren't really sure what to make of this style of art and frankly neither did I:)

Firedrake like this one which looks very nondescript from a far, In fact I walked right by it, but Firedrake called me back to take a closer look

but if you get closer you can see various animals and things in the picture, we spent a few minutes finding things in the picture which was fun!

Also on the museum grounds is an old country home from the late 1800's which we toured

loved the old car

Pretty rooms decked out in Christmas decor

It was fun seeing the decorations in the old house and touring the art museum.  We had another fun day out